Day 7 - City of Rotorua
We woke up at 7am and had breakfast at the hotel, this was actually quite good. I do recommend staying at the afford Holiday Inn if you visit. The staff even provided us with a congratulatory champagne for our wedding.
After breakfast we journeyed 30 minutes south to Wai-O-Tapu hot pools, the most famous of the viewpoint for the pools. They have the champagne pool, which has a beautiful orange ring and Satan’s pool a bright green pool. They have three paths that take you around the park, however we only had time for the first loop that took 45 minutes. On site they have the Lady Knox Geyser, that they activate at 10:15am daily. This was the first time either of us saw a geyser so this was pretty cool. After this we drove 5 minutes to another part of the pool that had mud pools, this consisted of grey pools of mud, reminiscent of the Labyrinth.
Then we headed to Rainbow Springs Sanctuary to see the kiwi bird. This is the only kiwi zoo where a 100% of the ticket fee goes to the preservation of the bird. The park was relatively small and can be completed in an hour. It had a lot of interesting birds and we were able to see three kiwis. Here’s a few facts about kiwis:
- They are nocturnal.
- They cannot fly.
- They are endangered due to dogs, cats, and a weasel like animal.
- They are the only birds to have nostrils on their beaks.
- They are terrible fighters with kicking being their only defense.
- The kiwi’s eggs and emu’s eggs are the same size, so they think once kiwis were once large.
After this we headed for the 2:30pm Agrodome farm show, in this one hour show we were able to see 19 different kids of sheep, saw how they were sheared, and were able to pet baby animals (alpacas, lambs, bunnies, and baby cow). Had we had more days in our trip we could’ve easily had another day here, so we could’ve not had such long days in the car.
Finally we made our long 3 hour drive north to the Coromendel peninsula. The Drive was absolutely beautiful with rolling green hills and the coast line. We stopped on The was and watched as the sun set over the ocean.
The town of Coromendel is tiny and in hindsight we should’ve stayed at the much larger city of Thames. We had dinner at the Red Pepper Inn, I had a seafood chowder and Matt had the local oysters.
We went to the Anchor Lodge Inn a small motel and backpacker hostel. This was a cute and affordable stay, that overlooks the water.
Day 8 - Coromandel Peninsula
Our final day in New Zealand exploring the beaches. Coromandel Peninsula has two of the top best beaches to visit, so we squeezed it into our final day. We would’ve definitely loved another day here to just relax on the beach.
The morning started with grabbed our final pies and sandwiches for lunch. On the way to Cathedral Cove we stopped by a waterfall and took a few picture. Then drove another 90 minutes to the cove. The cove was a undulating 45 minute walk from the parking lot. The cove was beautiful and definitely worth the visit.
After this we drove to Hot springs beach, this is where people bring shovels to dig organic hot tubs on the beach. The water was actually freakishly hot and you have to be carful not to burn yourself.
After all this we returned the rental car and headed to Auckland airport to board our flight backwards to Melbourne, before flying home to Los Angeles.
This has been a fulfilling and amazing, but an extremely quick trip to New Zealand. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful wedding. Originally I was extremely nervous about visiting this country (so close to the South Pole) in winter, however it was beautiful and the climate definitely tolerable. The final day in Auckland was surprisingly warm and in the high 70s, there was no rain or snow on the well maintained roads. Because it’s winter it’s the low season for travel, thus making flights and accommodations more affordable then normal. I highly recommend and would visit again in a heartbeat!